Apple iWork 09 Clark Summary This review was originally posted on VersionTracker. Don't be fooled. This is not a truly new version of the iWork suite. Although it continues the strengths of iWork , especially in Keynote, Apple has not addressed many of the weaknesses that prevent iWork from being a serious office suite suitable for business. If you want to save your money and skip this upgrade, you will not miss much.
All three applications deliver some improvements in terms of functionality, integration, and ease of use. Some of the improvements will be pleasant surprises, but I haven't found any breakthrough "must have" new features. Pages and Numbers continue to be disappointing. Apple has not addressed some very basic weaknesses that prevent the two otherwise attractive applications from replacing Microsoft Office in most businesses that, like mine, produce a lot of documents and spreadsheets.
Global strengths: Although Numbers and Pages do not have the functionality of Excel and Word, they are easier to learn and easier to use. As an experienced user of both suites, I find that I can create a document much faster in the iWork suite than using Microsoft Office.
On my basic MacBook, at least, the iWork applications run noticeably faster. Global weaknesses: The Help function remains vague for all three applications. The search function is inaccurate and the information, if you find it, is very basic. For organizations that use iWork 08, this is a significant disincentive to upgrade.
Files tend to be much larger than those produced by their counterparts in Microsoft Office. Currently more users worldwide use OpenOffice. Despite its shortcomings, Pages is easy to use. The user has a greater sense of "control" over what is happening on the screen than is sometimes the case with Word, especially with format changes. Formatting is much easier than with Word. Pages continues to lack, however, several basic functions. I am sure that there are other shortcomings that annoy other users, but here is my list.
Instead, you must break the document into separate files. Numbers I remain puzzled by Apple's apparent refusal to invest the relatively slight effort needed to make this application better than Excel.
The tables-based structure of Numbers makes it much easier to use than Excel. It produces better looking spreadsheets. However, there are at least two weaknesses that keep it from being the first choice for individuals and businesses who need spreadsheets that not only look pretty but also do "industrial strength" data analysis. Keynote Keynote remains vastly superior to Powerpoint.
I have to give iWork 09 a positive review, but there still are some curious weaknesses that prevent the suite from reaching its full potential.
Pirated copies of Apple's new iWork '09 software suite has been found to contain Trojan Virus. Intego, the security firm that develops VirusBarrier for OSX has confirmed over 20, have downloaded the infected software. Shares The iWork suite of programs was announced to be receiving an update at this year's MacWorld keynote and since then, a free 30 day trial version has been available through Apple's website for OSX users to try. The software package bundles popular productivity programs Pages, Numbers and Keynote and has received generally positive comments from users. The virus is reported to automatically install as soon as the administrator password is provided to OSX upon the installation of the pirated iWork '09 package.